Delhi’s air quality improves to "very poor" ahead of Diwali

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However, the major concern as per the portal of SAFAR, which monitors Air Quality Index (AQI) at 10 stations in Mumbai was that the PM 2.5 levels of Andheri (304), Mazgaon (316) and BKC (305) was in "very poor" category.

Delhi's air quality was recorded in "very poor" category on Tuesday as wind continued to blow from regions where there is rampant stubble burning, authorities said, warning of severe spike in pollution levels after Diwali even if "partial toxic crackers" are burnt compared to a year ago.

"Air Quality will be bad on Thursday and start to improve from Friday even if partial toxic crackers as compared to 2017 is burned", the government-run agency warned.

The Supreme Court in October allowed the use of "green" firecrackers for Diwali to try to curb pollution.

Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Greater Noida recorded "poor" quality air, according to the CPCB.

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"This scenario is likely to hold the locally generated crackers emissions within the NCT (National Capital Territory), slowing down the dispersion, resulting in increased levels of PM2.5 and PM10 pollution".

Prominent pollutants PM 2.5 were recorded in "severe" category and PM 10 in "poor" category in Delhi's Lodhi Road area on Tuesday.

The SAFAR, or System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research, under the Ministry of Earth Science, said in a report that Delhi's air quality was expected to deteriorate to the "severe plus emergency" category after Diwali. On Monday, air quality across NCR had worsened to "severe-plus" or "emergency" levels due to north-westerly winds that brought stubble smoke from Punjab and Haryana, while the high moisture levels trapped the local and external pollutants in Delhi.

The spike in the pollution level comes a day after the air quality had improved to moderate category due to meterological factors and the control measures implemented by the authorities in Delhi. Air quality will be "bad" on Thursday, 8 November - a day after Diwali - even if "partial toxic crackers" are used as compared to past year, SAFAR said. An unidentified official of the pollution board said the recommendation was made as such vehicles cause heavy pollution, which could lead to a further decline in air quality. "However, if there is negligible fireworks, it will keep AQI in upper level of "very poor", said the forecast by scientists from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune.

Monday morning, New Delhi residents woke up to levels of air pollution 20 times the limits recommended by the World Health Organization.

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